Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


An Interview with Protocol Recordings’, Nicky Romero

Nicky Romero is one of the world's most favorite and truly adored artists in the electronic music scene. He has created some of the most well-known tracks that people today truly enjoy listening too. Romero not only produces his own music, but he also owns one of the world's most popular music labels, Protocol Recordings. Recently, the music label reached its fifth year anniversary since it's first music release. In celebration of this great achievement, Nicky Romero hosted his 250th episode of Protocol Radio and live streamed the entire episode for his fans to see. From touring all over the world to managing his own music label, this Dutch Dj/producer took some time out of his very busy schedule to speak with EDM Sauce.

1. How has 2017 treated you so far?

2017 has been a crazy year so far! I have been touring a lot, going to new places in Asia and South America. I also played Ultra in Miami and King’s Day in Amsterdam, both really good events! We have been releasing a lot of new music on Protocol Recordings, including some new tracks by myself of which I am really excited about. We are also celebrating our fifth year as a label, so this year is dedicated to doing a lot of fun events and releases celebrating the label and our fanbase.

2. Recently, Protocol Recordings has reached its fifth anniversary since it's first official music release. How does it feel to have successfully created something that has changed the lives of not only it's music makers, but to its fans as well?

It feels fantastic, I’m so proud of how Protocol has evolved and where it’s at today. It was created as a way for us to reach out directly to our fan base. I wanted to showcase my own music, but also the music of other artists I admired and saw potential in. During our 5 years as a label, we have stayed true to our values and pleasing no one but ourselves and our fans. To be able to touch my fans on a personal level is an immense feeling and motivates me to go and push myself further.

3. In celebration of Protocol's fifth anniversary, you created your 250th episode of Protocol Radio a special one. You played some of your most famous songs along with tracks from DJ/Producers on your label. Some of them even managed to play in this episode. It was truly nostalgic. How did it feel creating this special episode? How did it feel to play some of your old tracks?

It was a party! We even had cake! We did the show from our studio complex and invited our closest friends to join us. We even got on the decks and did a little b2b. We just wanted to create a good vibe and celebrate the label and the radio show in a way the fans would enjoy participating in.

There was a fair bit of nostalgia. I haven’t played some of those tracks since they came out! But most of them still hold up great, it was good to see that they are still very well received.

4. What inspired you to create your own music label?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
[the_ad id="198342"]

The inspiration came from labels of artists I looked up to, like Size and Armada. I admired how the brand of the labels was so iconic, from the style of music down to the logo. I wanted to create the same, a label with an identity that represents what we stand for musically. We created a platform where we could release music and showcase new talent without any restrictions other than the ones set by ourselves. 5 years later and almost 100 releases later we are doing better than ever, with a loyal fan following and lot of new artists and releases.

5. In the beginning, did you think that Protocol Recordings would become as successful as it is today?

No, I can’t say we did. Our goal was never to be commercially or financially successful, we just wanted to be able to release and showcase our own music and have a way of interacting with fans. Protocol has done so well in 5 years, it is incredible and it was all done on our own terms.

6. Being a popular DJ/Producer such as yourself, you've managed to play at almost hundreds of different festivals around the world. Which one has been your favorite so far?

There are a couple that stand out. Tomorrowland, Ultra, and EDC are of course some of the best festivals in the world, the production and crowd are out of this world and I have always had a really good time at those festivals. There is a festival in the Netherlands every year on Kings Day, which is our national holiday, that is one of my favorites. It’s one big day party and everyone is dressed in orange, our national color. There is no better feeling than playing for a home crowd.

7. You have created popular tracks such as Toulouse, Like Home and, my personal favorite, I Could Be the One. Did you expect these songs to become as popular as they are? At the time, what inspired you to create those famous tracks?

Not in a million years. I knew I had something good going while I was making them, but I had no idea that they would become so popular worldwide. I only try to please myself when I make music so I’m very happy that people enjoyed those songs and my sound and that they are still so greatly appreciated.

The inspiration for I Could Be The One was to make a unique collaboration merging the Dutch and Swedish sound and showcasing our styles. Working with Avicii, I think we managed to create a perfect mix, with his excellent sense of melody and my heavier production style.

8. Do you still get nervous before a performance? If so, how do you calm those nerves?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
[the_ad id="198342"]

Yeah, I do still get nervous, like most artists. But once I get on stage, the positive energy from the crowd really takes all of the nervousness away and I instantly get in a good and happy mood! So the way I calm my nerves is really through the appreciation and excitement of the fans.

9. What attracts you to a certain artist's music?

I would say original productions with unique sounds and melodies. The electronic music scene has really been evolving creatively as of late, with very exciting new music. Producers have started experimenting more, including myself, and creating music that is very different from regular big room house. So I really enjoy music from artists that are pushing the formula by trying something new.

10. Does music take up most of your time?

Yes, to some capacity. Whether by making music, touring the world or running my label, I am constantly in and around music. But I try to find time to relax at home in the Netherlands with my family and friends and just clean my headspace.

11. What tracks do you like to play during your live performances?

I like playing new and exciting music from myself and my labelmates. We got a lot of excellent new releases out on Protocol that I want to play to fans and audiences, showcasing our label and artists. I try to pay tribute to my peers by mashing up some of my songs with classics. I also work in some of the older Nicky Romero tracks, but I mostly play new music by myself.

12. Is there any advice you'd like to give to music makers out there?

I would advise music makers to challenge themselves to find their own sound and style that suits them. Too often I hear producers who copy other artists sound straight off just because it’s easy. Of course you are inspired by other artists, but you should use that inspiration to try to create something that is uniquely you and represents you musically.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
[the_ad id="198342"]

Check out Nicky Romero's 250th episode of Protocol Radio below.

You May Also Like


Artificial intelligence (AI) has made incredible advances in recent years, with machines now capable of generating high-quality art, text, code and more. One particularly...

EDM Festival

Tomorrowland 2023 is an unforgettable EDM festival in Boom, Belgium, uniting music enthusiasts worldwide. The diverse lineup of DJs and artists pushed creative boundaries...

#EDM Articles

Ultra Music Festival has come and gone for this year, but as usual live sets from the weekend are being uploaded daily to YouTube,...

EDM Sauce Guides

Portable Speaker
Best 2 Person Tents
Best EDM Outfits